In Science, the Grade 5s have been learning about the human body, most notably its various systems and how each one functions. This newly acquired knowledge will be shared in the form of an oral presentation wherein each student will become a Medical Intern specializing in one system of interest to them.
They have come to realize that in order to present themselves as a convincing Medical Intern, they will have to wow their audience and maintain their interest… but how?!?
Each class was invited to the Learning Commons to discuss ways to augment the quality of their oral presentations. They quickly realized that most of the time, highly effective presentations include a visual element.
We talked a lot about the importance of including images and the tendency of overpowering oral presentations with slides and posters full of words and sentences. Students admitted to often having their backs turned on their audiences in order to read the words off the screen. The presentation is no longer about sharing their knowhow with a group, but more so sharing their reading abilities!
This lead to an interesting discussion around ways to include more visual content and fewer words… These words and/or short sentences would be used as a guide/reminder. The pictures would tell the story and engage the audience. They were excited to learn some new “tricks”!
Many students began tinkering with various tools and/or apps. They were encouraged to consider their own unique learning needs when selecting their presentation strategy.
Some students chose to explore and use Haiku Deck (available online and in app form) to create beautiful slide decks. Despite its resemblance to Google Slides, Microsoft PowerPoint and/or Keynote, Haiku Deck limits the number of characters used on each slide. This forces its users to reflect on what is essential and include only those pieces of information.
Other budding interns were inspired by the way Mme Madeley introduced this whole “visual” idea and decided to use Google Drawings. They were most content with the ability to easily include text and images on one “page”. Furthermore, there were no limits. Although this was appealing to some, they quickly realized the importance of flow and organization as they needed to be able to follow their train of thought, especially if this was a guide/web to their presentation.
Similarly, a few pupils chose to explore Popplet. Available online and as an app, it allows users to create graphic organizers. These organizers can be as detailed as the user wants, allowing them to include text, images and drawings. Each “popple” can be joined and their colours can be adjusted. Common themes are much easier to identify – which is key in a presentation such as the central nervous system!
Those who were after a creative way to start or end their presentations fell in love with iMovie! Students dabbled with the trailer feature, selecting the theme that best suited/complemented their chosen body system. In many cases, this was a great way to get rid of the early presentation jitters, and start things off with a BANG!